The National Population Commission (NPC) has maintained that the 2023 Housing Population census was not postponed due to a lack of funds.
The NPC Federal Commissioner for Plateau State, Mrs Cecilia Dapoet reiterated the commission’s position on the matter saying the exercise was not postponed because of funds, but due to the government’s transition programme and post-election mood in the country.
Naija News recalls that the census which was postponed by former President Muhammadu Buhari before the end of his administration was earlier slated to hold on May 7 2023.
However, following the shift of the exercise, insinuations have emerged that it was postponed because of the unavailability of funds.
But the NPC commissioner, while speaking to pressmen in Jos, the Plateau State capital, said it has taken necessary steps to correct the impression.
Dapoet explained that “The Commission is compelled to take necessary steps to correct the impression that the 2023 Population and Housing Census is postponed because of lack of funds.
“The real reason is not money, but the government’s transition programme and post-election mood in the country. We all saw the cloud of uncertainty that hung above the nation after the elections and were careful not to fall into some pitfalls and plunge the country into more trouble.
“We cannot take things for granted and decided to postpone the exercise. I assure you it is done in the national interest. The postponement will allow for adequate participation of this new administration.”
She, however, observed that the postponement gave the Commission the opportunity to re-assess their Census Work-plan and to inject any input that would add value to the strategies for the implementation of the methodology for optimal success.
“There is always room for improvement on the process. Note that the Commission is committed to safeguard all resources expended while we await the new date for the Census exercise.
“We have also put some measures in the process to curtail incidences of political interferences with the census process,” she added.
The commissioner also disclosed that the Commission has purchased handheld devices to be used to capture data that are safely stored at the Central Bank in Jos, noting that “This also means the software is ready in hand. I assure you that before the process was paused shortly to allow for a smooth transition of administration and the mood from the 2023 general elections to calm down, the Commission had already put all things in place ready for the Census exercise to take off.”